Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Emily provide a good reminder to Lee County residents that excessive plant growth can cause property damage during summer storms. Lee County Solid Waste and UF/IFAS Lee County Extension offer the following steps to prepare your yard before, during and after a storm:
- Cut back any trees or branches that contact your house, pool cage, shed or other buildings.
- Thin foliage so wind can blow freely through branches, decreasing chances the plant will become uprooted during a storm.
- Place trimmings at the curb on your regular collection day. Yard waste must be containerized or securely tied into bundles not heavier than 50 pounds and no longer than 6 feet in length.
Up to 50 pounds of unbundled palm fronds may be placed at the curb.
- Clean your property of any items that could become a projectile during a storm and place them at the curb on your regular waste collection day.
Once a storm has been named or a hurricane watch or warning has been issued:
- Do not cut down trees and do not do any major yard work. Mass cutting produces a burden on the normal collection process.
- Do not begin construction projects that produce debris unless absolutely necessary to protect life and property.
- Secure all debris and do not place materials of any kind at the curb during a watch or warning period.
- Services may be suspended and facilities closed early to prepare for the storm. For information on the status of collection services and disposal facilities, residents should check www.leegov.com/solidwasteor monitor local media.
After the storm has passed:
- Most important – keep storm debris separate from your regular household garbage and recycling.
- Storm debris should be sorted into separate piles for garbage, yard waste, appliances and construction debris.
- Pick up will generally be done with a mechanized claw truck so it’s important that you not set debris over buried electric/phone lines, water meters, hydrants or mailboxes. Inspectors will tour each part of the county to determine where collection needs are greatest.
- Be patient. Following a storm, the No. 1 priority is collecting household garbage. Uncollected garbage attracts pest and can spread disease. Vegetative waste can wait.
- Debris collection guidance and recovery process updates will be available at www.leegov.com/solidwaste.
For more information:
Emergency Management: Follow Lee County Emergency Management on social media on Facebook (LCEMFL), and Twitter (@LCEMFL and @LeeEOC). Read the Lee County All Hazards Guide online at www.leegov.com/allhazardsguide
Solid Waste: The Lee County Solid Waste Division provides residents and businesses with waste disposal and recycling services. www.leegov.com/solidwaste
Extension Services: The University of Florida/IFAS Lee County Extension offers educational programs through a three-way cooperative arrangement between the Lee Board of County Commissioners, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.